The college football season is approaching. There is always debate over ranking the best players in the sport. Here are the top 25 college football cornerbacks heading into the 2022 season.
Note: While projection of what a player can be is taken into account, most rankings are from what has been seen on the field so far. These are not NFL Draft rankings, but rather focus on the best players in college football.
25. D’Shawn Jamison, Texas Longhorns
Jamison is entering his fifth season with the Longhorns. He has plenty of experience, but had just one interception and one pass defended in 2021.
24. Duce Chestnut, Syracuse Orange
Chestnut was a freshman starter for the Orange and registered three interceptions and eight passes defended. Syracuse has a talented secondary and Chestnut will have a lot of eyes on him in 2022.
23. Arquon Bush, Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati made the College Football Playoff last season and Bush was a contributor. He had three interceptions and six passes defended. After being the third corner behind Ahmad Gardner and Coby Bryant in 2021, Bush is now the leader in the secondary.
22. Julius Brents, Kansas State Wildcats
Brents started his career at Iowa, but played last season with the Kansas State. He had 49 total tackles, one interception and two passes defended. At 6-foot-4 he is a unique corner for the Wildcats to utilize, as he has great length.
21. Jarrick Bernard-Converse, LSU Tigers
After four successful years at Oklahoma State, Bernard-Converse joined LSU. At Oklahoma State in 2021, Bernard-Converse had 11 passes defended as the Cowboys had their best defensive season in years. With some departures from the program, Bernard-Converse’s presence means a lot for the Tigers in 2022.
20. Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama Jaguars
Luter has gained some national attention, despite playing at a small school. He had four interceptions and 10 passes defended in 2021. Fans tuning into South Alabama games this season will see one of the better players in the Sun Belt lining up at corner.
19. Tyrique Stevenson, Miami Hurricanes
Although he left Georgia right before they won the National Championship, Stevenson played well for Miami in 2021. He finished the year with one interception and four passes defended. Now he heads into the 2022 season hoping to lead the Hurricanes to an ACC title.
18. Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville Cardinals
Clark played one season at Liberty, then transferred to Louisville and has played well in all three years of his college football career. He had nine passes defended and three interceptions in 2021. Clark’s solid ball skills will be on display in 2022.
17. Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn Tigers
He has received plenty of playing time over his three years at Auburn and Pritchett is now a leader on the team. In 2021, he had one interception and three passes defended. Quarterbacks don’t always look to throw to Pritchett’s side of the field because of his coverage ability.
16. Cory Trice, Purdue Boilermakers
Trice is returning to Purdue for his fifth season after his fourth season was cut short. He played in just two games due to a knee injury in 2021. His length and ability to shut down receivers will be huge for Purdue in 2022.
15. Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
In 13 games during the 2021 season, Forbes had three interceptions and four passes defended. Mississippi State doesn’t have too many impact players on defense, but Forbes is the leader.
14. D.J. Turner, Michigan Wolverines
Turner has just one season of playing at Michigan, but he proved to be valuable on their CFP run. He had two interceptions and seven passes defended. Turner will have his hands full in the Big Ten against some good receivers, but he is a solid player in his own right.
13. Josh DeBerry, Boston College Eagles
In 2022, DeBerry is heading into his fourth season. He has three interceptions and 11 passes defended in his career. Boston College has a few key players on offense, but DeBerry is by far the best player on their defense.
12. Jason Marshall, Florida Gators
Marshall had a fantastic freshman season for Florida that saw him collect one interception and three passes defended. Florida’s defense struggled in 2021 and Marshall’s emergence can really help them improve this season.
11. Tiawan Mullen, Indiana Hoosiers
After a great 2020 season that saw him have three interceptions and four passes defended, Mullen played in just five games in the 2021 season with an ankle injury. He’ll want to regain his form, as Indiana is in search of a bounce back season in 2022.
10. Denzel Burke, Ohio State Buckeyes
Not too many freshmen start at Ohio State, but Burke did and played well. He finished the season with one interception and 12 passes defended, showing off his great potential for the future.
9. Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU Horned Frogs
He had 13 passes defended in 2020, then produced two interceptions and seven passes defended in 2021. Hodges-Tomlinson has improved each season and if he continues that trend, he will rise up this list.
8. Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford Cardinal
Stanford has struggled the last few seasons, but Kelly is a bright spot. He had two interceptions and 11 passes defended in 2021. One of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown. The All-Pac-12 Second Team performer from 2021 is ready for a big 2022 season.
7. Cam Hart, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Hart had two interceptions and seven passes defended in 2021. He was able to display his awareness in coverage last season and now he’ll be counted on again in 2022. Notre Dame’s first game is against Ohio State, who has the premier wide receiver room in the country, so Hart has to be prepared in week 1.
6. Joey Porter Jr., Penn State Nittany Lions
His name is familiar and Porter brings the physicality that his dad brought to the football field. He is a talented and experienced corner with nine career passes defended. Porter Jr. needs to watch how physical he is with wide receivers this season to avoid flags.
5. Riley Moss, Iowa Hawkeyes
Moss struggled in Iowa’s bowl game against Kentucky, but had a fantastic season otherwise in 2021. He finished the year with four interceptions and five passes defended. After making plenty of All-American teams in 2021, Moss will hope to lead Iowa to the Big Ten Championship.
4. Clark Phillips III, Utah Utes
There were some lofty expectations for Phillips after being a highly-touted recruit. He delivered last season as a sophomore with two interceptions and 13 passes defended, with the Utes winning the Pac-12. In 2022, Phillips will be a tough player to go up against.
3. Cam Smith, South Carolina Gamecocks
Smith learned a lot from former Gamecock Jaycee Horn. He has five interceptions and 13 passes defended over the last two seasons. While South Carolina has a lot to figure out, they know what Smith brings to the table.
2. Kelee Ringo, Georgia Bulldogs
Ringo sealed the National Championship Game for Georgia last season with his pick-six. He had eight passes defended and two interceptions in total last season. As he heads into his second year of starting on the Georgia defense, he goes from an impressive freshman to a leader of the defense.
1. Eli Ricks, Alabama Crimson Tide
Not many players transfer from LSU to Alabama, but Ricks made that decision. He had one pass defended and one interception in 2021. His best year came when he was a freshman, as he had four interceptions and five passes defended. Ricks brings some experience to Alabama’s corners, as they look o make a run at the National Championship.
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